Something’s up in Provo, Utah and it weighs around seven million pounds. It’s the 112-year-old exterior of the Provo Tabernacle that was severely damaged in a 2010 fire but has since been saved by the LDS church so it can be converted into a temple. Engineers first gutted the damaged interior and then supported the exterior walls with special scaffolding as they dug down to create space for a two story basement, so in actuality the building hasn’t even moved. The entire structure is now on stilts some 40 feet in the air and from some angles appears to be floating above ground, such as in the first photograph above provided by Brian Hansen. Additional photos courtesy the LDS Newsroom.
Through his brand ONDU, woodworker Elvis Halilović has been making lensless pinhole cameras for over seven years along with a wide variety of ceramic and structural objects, including kits for geodesic domes. This week the Slovenian designer unveiled a beautifully designed series of pinhole cameras made from wood and held together in part by strong magnets. Forget your camera phone, filters, and “likes,” these tough little lensless film cameras are old school and completely manual, relying on direct exposure of light to film. The cameras come in six different dimensions and film sizes, from the more common Leica 135 format to a 4″ x 5″ film holder camera, and looking at the examples above they really do seem capable of making some beautiful photos. You can learn more over on Kickstarter. (via THEmag)
Designed by Italian firm Act Romegialli Architects, Green Box is a small camouflaged garage for a private residence situated on the Raethian Alps. While the interior is organized into a gardening room, cooking area, and a small dining/hang out space, it’s the exterior that makes this contemporary hobbit home pretty remarkable. The architects created a lightweight skeleton of galvanized metal and steel wire for the sole purpose of promoting a habitat for climbing vegetation. From a distance only a glowing light would suggest the space was even habitable. I could write Colossal from a space like this for an extremely extended period of time. See more photos over on iGNANT.
In the terrifying wake of 2011 the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, funerals become a commonplace ordeal as the nation dealt with unprecedented loss. Like most cultures, Japanese funerals are somber affairs punctuated with black and white with any deviation considered taboo or inappropriate. Reflecting on the enormity of recent events, funeral home Nishinihon Tenrei approached Tokyo-based ad agency I&S BBDO to create an ad for a trade show that would buck the trend of muted colors so prevalent in the industry. The agency responded with this unprecedented figure of a skeleton made with pressed flowers that overtly celebrates the cycle of life by introducing color and elements of nature that are often avoided in such services. The image was considered so successful it went on to win a design merit award from the 2013 One Club Awards. You can see it in even higher resolution here. (via spoon & tamago)
This remarkable chandelier from Hilden & Diaz projects a 360° shadow of trees and roots onto the walls surrounding it. Titled Forms in Nature the light was partly inspired by the drawings of Ernst Haeckel, the German biologist, naturalist, and philosopher (among other things) who is perhaps most famous for discovering thousands of new animal species and mapping them to a genealogical “tree of life”. Hilden & Diaz describe via their website that the shadows in their light are actually upside down:
Interestingly, the roots are those elements of the forest that are the most visible. Thereby the sculpture is not only mirrored, but also turned upside down in Hilden & Diaz’ artwork. [...] The shadows engulfs the room and transforms the walls into unruly shadows of branches, bushes and gnarled trees. Mirrorings are thrown out upon the walls and ceilings and provide weak Rorschach-like hints of faces, life and flow of consciousness. Dimming the lights transforms the installation and one senses a weak fire burning deep in the center of the forest.
It appears the light is just a concept right now, but feel free to join the chorus of people begging for the real thing. (via caoine.org)
Years before the first photographic print and two centuries before Google Glass, was the Camera Lucida, a clever optical device designed by Sir William Hyde Wollaston that utilized a prism to project an image onto a piece of paper so you can trace it, a method that would transform life-drawing for nearly a century. Have you ever used one or seen for sale? Likely not. Your best chance would be scouring Ebay where antique Camera Lucidas sell for upwards of $300. Enter university professors Pablo Garcia (previously) from the Art Institute of Chicago and Golan Levin from Carnegie Mellon who have teamed up to design the NeoLucida, the first portable camera lucida in nearly a century.
So what’s the point? In the age of Google Glass, Oculus Rift, and Instagram who needs to sit down and draw what’s in front of them? The duo explains via Kickstarter:
We both have a lot of students who’ve come to believe that being able to draw photo-realistically is the most important thing. We both love realistic drawing, but not necessarily the way it’s usually taught—which often ignores the tightly-intertwined relationship between drawing and imaging technologies. In particular, art students are encouraged to draw photo-realistically, in the manner of the Old Masters, but without the proper tools for doing so. So we’re producing the NeoLucida as a provocation, not as a business, to help get this discussion started. We hope the NeoLucida will prompt new questions about the relationship of art and technology—and potentially even disrupt business-as-usual in the classroom. Most importantly, we genuinely believe that using a camera lucida will profoundly change how people see, how they draw, and how they think about art.
Lastly, is there really a demand for a simple $30 drawing device based on a little prism? The Kickstarter received pledges for almost 100 of them while I wrote this post. So there’s that.
Update: It appears they’ve sold out of their initial run of 2,500 NeoLucidas with no plans to increase that number at this time.
In her Harm Less series artist Sonia Rentsch defuses the powers of modern weaponry by constructing guns, grenades and bullets completely from organic objects. The shape and form of each piece are really convincing, yet I also enjoy the obviousness of each plant chosen to resemble various gun parts. If you’re reminded of Sarah Illenberger’s work, you’ll be happy to know Rentsch has had the opportunity to work with Illenberger in Berlin. Take a deep dive into her extensive portfolio of work over on her website. (via not shaking the grass)
Here & There are a fascinating set of prints from London-based design firm BERG that depict speculative projections of Manhattan by completely removing the horizon and skewing the entire urban landscape upward. These particular views are of uptown from 3rd and 7th street, and downtown from 3rd and 35th street. Last year the prints found their way into MOMA’s permanent collection, and have just been reprinted using offset litho on 170 gsm paper from sustainable sources. Pick ‘em up now, shipping starts tomorrow.
Update: Because people are asking, these were designed a year or two before Inception. Just sayin’.